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Build a Kenyan Topbar Beehive out of Cob

  • Jun 7, 2014 · 10:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Come join us to build a bee hive out of cob!!!!!!!

I believe this will be the first top bar beehive built out of cob in the midwest and possibly the entire USA. Wouldn't you want to be a part of natural building history? Don't let this unique opportunity pass you by.

We will be building a Kenyan Top Bar hive out of natural materials. COB - specifically. 

The fee is $20.00 per person the money will be used to cover the costs of running this meetup group for one or two years (meetup charges about 150 bucks a year for us to exist) The date is set for June 7th at the North Park Village Nature Center.

The skills related to the build itself will be transferable if you were to choose to embark on a cob oven, bench, shed, or cottage. How so you ask? We will  create a foundation, mix cob, build a structure, and create a roof. All four of these components are needed to build a successful lasting cob structure. That structure can be for little bees or slightly modified and scaled up to a small work shed or scaled up even further to construct a cozy cottage in the woods.

Building with cob and stone is almost meditative, before long a deeper connection with the material beneath your feet just may creep into your conscious.

Plan on arriving in time for the class to promptly start at 10am. 

Please bring your own lunch/snacks. 

10 to 10:30 discussion -bees-

10:30 to 11am - how we will build a Kenyan Top Bar hive with cob

11 to at least 4pm will be the build - possibly longer

Please do not hesitate to share questions or comments. 

Thank you

Peter P.

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  • FHT

    Here's a photo album from our workshop which also includes a few short video clips. Feel free to tag yourself or add comments. Could not stay until the end but I returned later to get a couple photos of the finished hive. Thanks Peter and everyone!

    July 12, 2014

  • Peter

    Had a great time with a group of fast learners. I am really happy that people were able to stay late and help get the hive to usable status. We will be working there again soon to help get the walls completed. The next phase will offer itself to designs/frescoes/color and texture options that will really bring out the beauty of cob construction. I hope each one of you can attend the next workshop and possibly some new faces as well. If you have pictures or video of the workshop please contact me. I will announce a date soon for the plaster workshop. . Till our paths of life cross again.

    May the sun always shine upon you.


    3 · June 9, 2014

    • Eric O.

      Kim and I had a really good time playing in the mud. We are hoping to be apart of the finishing touches. Pete I have some oak wide flooring I salvaged from a demolition project and some extra cedar siding if you guys need materials for the permanent roof. Anyone who is considering attending one of these meetups I highly recommend it. The organizers have a treasure trove of info to share.

      June 9, 2014

  • Dana L.

    Peter did such great job presenting information with authority and humor. The participants were all in the own right interesting people and active in various ways in the sustainability movement. It was a real pleasure to work and converse over the course of the day.

    1 · June 7, 2014

  • Heather

    Anyone finding their way to the workshop can reach me Saturday on my cell at[masked]

    June 4, 2014

  • Peter

    Attention attendees:

    Please bring the following: gloves, safety glasses, extra shoes to use for mixing cob, water bottle, any additional items for working outside such as sunscreen, large hat, sunglasses ect. If you do not want to sit on the ground please bring a folding chair.

    If you have rock/brick hammers and chisels pease contact me - we could use additional rock hammers for sure.

    I could use a large 1/2 electric drill - old would be great - please contact me. I have some slip made up but we may need a little more, the drill helps make this process easier. I have the paddle for the drill already.

    If anyone is good a taking videos for youtube, knows how to upload them, and is willing to help out please contact me.

    Also - any photographers in the group? Could use someone to take photos for the group as well.


    Peter P.

    June 1, 2014

  • Peter

    Dana - I sent you an email. I would prefer live music if possible or we can go without - it was just a happy wish, but thank you for the offer.

    May 31, 2014

    • Dana L.

      Okay, it will be easier not to schlep it around. I can sing a few things I know in the genre to while the hours away.

      May 31, 2014

  • Dana L.

    As for the roof, my husband is an awesome woodworker and extremely creative. He will bring tools, but will you have materials on hand?

    May 30, 2014

  • Dana L.

    I can bring a Bose system if someone has an iPod with good tunes Peter.

    May 30, 2014

  • Peter

    I was hoping that someone would show up with a guitar - bongo drums - piccalo/recorder to play some background music. If anyone can fill this request please message me. Would like folk music. Thanks!

    May 30, 2014

  • Peter

    We have quite a bit of work to do and need to complete or try to complete the hive in one day from the base to the roof. I expect that some people will be simply observing - some will be working - some will be no shows at the last minute. We will have a great time !

    May 30, 2014

  • Peter

    Thank you for your question Dana - there are people attending who will most likely observe and not participate. There are also going to be some no shows.

    May 30, 2014

  • Dana L.

    I see there are 22 people signed up, I'd like to come but am concerned that there may be too many to work effectively on a small project. What do you think, Peter?

    May 30, 2014

  • FHT

    I will be there. Looking forward to it!

    1 · May 21, 2014

  • Eric O.

    Ill be for certain +1.

    1 · May 8, 2014

  • Peter

    Well - things are coming together. I would like to ask everyone to take a moment to confirm their attendance to this beehive build so we can be sure to have room for new sign ups.

    As you can see we have a date and time now. If any of you have a knack for whimsey and are good at building with wood I am hoping to come up with a really cool roof. I am open for ideas. I have a fall back plan but it is not as exciting as what I think you can come up with. Give it some thought. Send me a message.

    May 8, 2014

  • Peter

    Working on finalizing a date - The location and date will be announced very soon - Stay Tuned!!!

    March 5, 2014

  • Jodi

    Perhaps you would consider offering more than one workshop. The Resiliency Institute in Naperville would be a great spot to host this type of workshop.

    March 1, 2014

    • Nancy P. you have any suggestions what would work? and I'll load them there to share.

      January 25, 2014

    • Peter

      I believe you can place them in the photos section of this site. You could also possibly email just the photo(s) to me and I would work on posting them from there. I did sign up for snapfish and it still did not let me see the photos.

      January 26, 2014

  • Peter

    We are receiving some really great suggestions as to where to hold the event - we will work our way through them as well as any new suggestions and get back to everyone with further information. In the mean time keep the suggestions coming. Thank you

    January 23, 2014

  • sean s.

    Please consider North Park Village Nature Center, located at 5801 n. Pulaski on the Northwest side of Chicago. We have bees, room and space. It is accessible from the blue line or red line and the Pulaski or Peterson Bus. Please contact me through meetup or at (312)[masked] or at [masked]
    We have worked with meet up groups for years in t beekeeping and primitive skills.

    January 22, 2014

    • Kimberly Z.

      Yes! Please consider this! It is a wonderful facility and I would love to attend!

      January 22, 2014

18 went

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